Concussions are a safety risk at just about every workplace and occur when the brain shakes inside of the skull. Generally, concussions are caused by severe blows to the head or body sustained from falls, being struck by an object, motor vehicle collisions or other type of impact.
In the event of such force, the spinal fluid that surrounds the brain is unable to act as a cushion, and severe damage to the brain, blood vessels and nerves can occur. In most cases, concussions in the workplace are caused by avoidable accidents. To keep yourself and fellow employees safe, it’s important to keep in mind the following:
- Know the signs and symptoms. Doing so can make all the difference when treating an employee. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to, headaches, loss of consciousness, confusion, amnesia and dizziness. Monitor concussion sufferers closely, and don’t let them drive home.
- Be aware of tripping hazards and do your part to ensure good workplace housekeeping.
- Wear hard hats, sturdy footwear, fall protection gear or other personal protective equipment if it is a requirement of the work you perform.
- Report any unsafe conditions to your supervisor.
While most people recover from concussions without having to go to the hospital, an employee should be instructed to seek medical attention immediately if he or she experiences loss of consciousness, extreme confusion, nausea or a progressively worsening headache.